Toronto-based startup SecuraCoin officially launched last week with a service that will allow brick-and-mortar businesses to buy, sell and accept bitcoins while remaining compliant with existing regulations.
That means SecuraCoin will provide money service businesses and other physical outlets the compliance, technology and liquidity to offer Bitcoin options for those businesses’ customers.
That’s complicated stuff, so we reached out to SecuraCoin Operating Officer Sina Ghashghaei for clarification.
“All of our services are instant and on-location, which means no pre-registration is necessary,” he said. “As soon as the order is processed, we provide temporary printed wallets with the private and public key for the user to move funds to a wallet of their choice.”
- Sina Ghashghaei
SecuraCoin is a registered money services business in both Canada and the United States, and it sets up relationships with other businesses, who in turn benefit from SecuraCoin’s compliance standards and licensing.
There is a taxonomy as to how this breaks down before any bitcoins can end up in a customer’s possession.
First, SecuraCoin calls its clients “agents,” of which there are three:
- money service businesses, which can transact up to US$3,000 per order;
- retail service businesses, which can transact up to US$250 per order;
- and independent service providers, which are businesses that simply receive compliance training from SecuraCoin.
This allows SecuraCoin to segment its agents so, for example, payday loan companies fall into a different category than would a shop that sells cell phone accessories.
A separate branch of this taxonomy also includes merchants, for which SecuraCoin offers payment processing services (“Think filling up a prepaid credit card with bitcoin equivalent funds,” Ghashghaei said.).
Below this level is the end-user level, or the actual customers of the agents and merchants who want to transact in bitcoins. Ghashghaei said the company soon plans to host an online exchange and introduce mobile apps so that end-users can buy and sell directly via SecuraCoin.
For its services, which also include promotion, SecuraCoin charges a revenue split, or — in the case of independent service providers — an operation fee. Company representatives said in a statement:
“Combining both a physical retail trade network and an online service will allow SecuraCoin to bring much needed mainstream accessibility and exposure of the quickly expanding Bitcoin space to users from all walks of life.”
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